Iiosia © veriax 2010-2015
The Age of Wonder was a time when the Black Arc of magic was not as widespread as it is in Iiosia. Mythical beasts the like of which have not been seen since were widespread, and much of the world was unmapped wilderness.
The humans were as children, living in caves by camp-fires, foraging what food they could find and trying not to fall prey to one of the many fantastical beasts which would stalk the woods. The ogre, the minotaur, gigantic spiders and worse things still would find a human being a tasty meal.
It had a different name, Tae’lummisae, as it was known by the atia, which now roughly translates into the modern common tongue as “Wondrous World.”, and now is just thought of as The Age of Wonder by the atia, dwarves, and other races who hold record of it.
The Age of Wonder was a time when mythical beasts ruled the vast forests of the world unhindered. There were no set countries, borders or regions. Most of the lands were covered in vast forests, stretching miles and miles. These forests were wild, old, and overgrown, habitat to many a beast that has since struggled to find a home in the modern Iiosia.
Dragons were the mightiest beings to have lived, and they flew in Tae’lummisae's skies and slept in its deep, vast caverns. Nothing could withstand the might and ferocity of a dragon’s fury. Fortunate it was then that the dragons were rare and unsociable creatures, lest they wipe out entire species and swathes of forest in great feasts. Ghornak was their leader; their king.
Few races had more respect for dragons than the dwarves. Within their mountain strongholds, the dwarves came into more contact with them than any other race since, like dwarves, dragons preferred the solitude of high peaks and dark caves to the vast stretches of forest. The dwarves, in their fortresses of stone and iron, mined the mountains for precious stones and minerals, caring little for the magical world that surrounded them. They were (and still are) a reclusive race happy to mind their own business as long as they were left alone to. From within their kingdom in the mountains, the dwarves carved out a network of citadels consisting of vast, cavernous halls, which along with the treasures kept within, became very appealing to some dragons.
Atia, disliking the harsh and barren terrain of the mountainous regions, had less dealing with dragons. In contrast to the stocky, well built dwarves, the atia are a slight and tall and frail people. A disdainful and arrogant race, they built what may have been the largest and most sophisticated city ever constructed within the trees; the city Allyon. The atia had keen interest in magical arts, exploration, and attempting to beautify themselves (once again in dissimilarity to the dwarves).
Adept in the magic Arcs as they were, the atia became vain with their own power. In their arrogance they magically enslaved many of the simple minded but physically stronger humans to do their manual labour. They built many small settlements among the trees and on the coasts within Maleri, their homeland, and their sailing ships drifted over the oceans and mapped the coastlines of their world.
Finally, the tar’tchii. These creatures surpassed anything before or since with their beauty and grace. They were angelic, peaceful, magical, and could be found soaring with the winds using their giant and pure white wings. Writings suggest that they had a city, but if it ever stood it has been destroyed or buried under the land now known as Ghrea.
These three races had little to do with each other. The atia, vain as they were, lived in quiet envy of the tar'tchii for their gift of flight, their magic affinity, and their beauty; surpassing the elves in all areas the elves pride themselves on. But, for a long, long time this magical world remained at peace, until the events that would change everything. Forever.
The Meddling of the Atia
The war originated with the meddling of the atia. The atia had always been dabblers in the unsavoury side of magic. They had used the power to zombify hundreds, if not thousands, of humans to be their slaves. The tar'tchii had frowned upon such things, but in all in their arrogance the atia thought this was only a sign that the tar'tchii were threatened by their growing power. It was with the aim of gaining more power over the arcs that the Magic Flux was constructed. Imbued by the powers of the most powerful atian mages, the Magic Flux was a ring of runic stones some 20 feet in diameter, which was then magically suspended between two great and mighty pillars, towering above the spires of the atian capital, Allyon.
The Magic Flux was designed to channel the arcs of magic into the atian lands; attracting them so that it would ease spell casting and help them to create more powerful incantations. The atia were foolish indeed to think that they could control such power. Several years after its construction, a storm raged over Allyon. This was a vile and wicked storm far more ferocious than any other seen by the atia. It whipped up great winds and sent down torrential rain which threatened to turn the forests into swamps. Crops and structures were destroyed. Livestock ware lost. Atia were killed.
History tells that the storm lasted almost a week. During that time the Flux wobbled and swayed in the wind but remained intact. Then as the storm was dissipating, lightning rang out one last time, striking the Magic Flux.
Upon impact the Flux glowed red, and for just an instant it became a gateway to Inferis. Inferis, a place of fire and turmoil, the realm in which swarms of demons dwell, wreathed in flame and gibbering insanely. The realm of the Black Arc.
In that split second the spirits of six demons escaped into the world. These were known as the Cha'karth; some of the strongest demons within Inferis. They were named Scythliea the Reaper, Severon the Vile, Sil’nith’tei the Corruptor, Mordessa the Decadent, Mealkith the Dead and Vanaus the Dominator. Of these, Vanaus was the greatest; his name would become synonymous with death and terrible power.
In the chaos of the dying storm the cha'karth fled from Allyon and made their way to the burning deserts of the south.
The Rise of the Cha'karth
Throughout the next few years the cha'karth manifested themselves into physical forms, each forming as they pleased. They each oversaw the construction of great fortresses within the wastes; a land which would come to be known as Cha'karthamoré.
Unhindered by the burning desert sun, the cha'karth amassed armies of demons around them, calling upon the powers of the Black Arc to manifest their servants and vile towers. Within less than a decade, the cha'karth had built up a demonic empire on the shores of the desert. However, potent as their powers were, they were still limited due to the lack of Dark Arc energies they could utilise. Their ranks swelled with ulthin – the most lesser of demons. These creatures were as chaotic and mindless as they were vicious and cruel. The cha'karth desired more powerful servants, and they were equally discontent with the vast desert of the south-lands as their domain. They had seen the lush greenery of the atian forests, and were driven by an insane lust to annihilate them, along with every
living thing within them.
When the cha'karth had finally finished gathering their hordes of ulthin, they constructed a huge fleet of ships, made of magic and bone, and swept northwards into the forests, burning and destroying everything they found. Their destination was Allyon, intent on claiming the Magic Flux. With such a device, the cha'karth knew that they could summon forth numerous other denizens of Inferis to swell the ranks of their armies, giving them the forces needed to invade and destroy the other civilised races of the world.
The Siege of Allyon
The armies of the cha'karth reached the city of Allyon with ease. The small pockets of atian resistance they encountered on the way were no match for the tide of ulthin which swarmed northwards. Allyon itself was a different prospect. Using armies of mindless Husks and the power of the Magic Flux, the atia were able to stave off the relentless attack for four days.
The defence was a noble, final testament to the fortitude and strength of the atian civilisation, but they eventually succumbed to defeat. It was only when the six cha'karth all came together and combined their magics to negate the power of the Flux that the atia's defences finally crumbled and the demonic armies broke into the heart of the city. Even as the ulthin ran amok in the streets, slaughtering as they went, Vanaus himself took to the skies on his huge leathery wings and swept the Magic Flux up in his talons. The Flux fell to the demons, and the city of Allyon along with it.
Despite the devastation, the atia were not entirely eradicated. During its destruction, some were able to escape. Of the thousands of atia who made their home within the city, barely a hundred survived. Among these was the queen, Erensol, and her entourage of mages and advisors.
This bedraggled and downtrodden group escaped through the woods and fled to the only place they could go; the city of Ch'tielira, and home of the tar’tchii.
Gathering the Races
The tar’tchii welcomed the atia into their home, where no atia, and indeed no other thing save for the tar’tchii themselves, had ever entered before. The atia were aghast to behold the incredible beauty of the place, for they always felt that their city, Allyon, was the most wonderful on the face of the world. Yet Ch'tielira, with its towers piercing the sky, the elegant bridges intertwining between them, and the ornate, delicate carvings wrought into the alabaster the place was made of made Allyon akin to a hovel in comparison.
The atia, angry that the tar’tchii had not aided them in their fight to save Allyon, accused the angelic race of abandonment, but the tar’tchii had not been sitting idle. They knew that the demonic armies would be too strong even for the combined strength of their two races. So they had sent out word for aid.
They had asked the dwarves who, in the mountains to the north, had vast armies which could stand against the hosts of the cha'karth. The dwarves had agreed to come, but much of their strength was far away, and would take time to arrive. Already though, the dwarves were amassing, sending troops from their most southern fortresses to come to assist. The alliance of The Three Races had been formed.
Messengers had also been sent to the lairs of known dragons, though nothing had been heard from them.
Meanwhile, the demons had been using the Magic Flux to full effect, summoning forth, from Inferis, thousands more vile fiends, with which to invade the rest of the world. Armour-clad reavers, giant mealkons and the deathly drath swelled their ranks. For miles in every direction, the demon army lay sprawled out over a land which had once been dense and lush woodland, but which had swiftly been turned into a desert of ash and smouldering stumps.
Had the demons marched upon Ch'tielira then, the city and all its occupants would have stood no chance of holding back the tide. As it happened, the Cha'karth's very nature played against them. There were six of them, and only one Magic Flux. Vanaus was the one who laid claim to it. He was the mightiest of them, and the one who had captured it in the battle. Of the five others, two, Scythliea the Reaper and Severon the Vile, submitted themselves, while the other three, Sil’nith’tei the Corruptor, Mordessa the Decadent, and Mealkith the Dead, rebelled.
Thus, The Cha'karth fought among themselves for the Flux, not only weakening each other but wiping out swathes of their armies as they battled. It was a costly confrontation, and Vanaus emerged victorious, with Scythliea at his side. The others had perished in the battle; their physical forms lost. It would take centuries for them to be able to manifest themselves again, even then their power would be a fraction of what it was when they marched on Allyon.
Weakened, but still massively powerful, Vanaus lead Scythliea and the greatest single army the world has ever seen on Ch'tielira. A month after the fall of Allyon, the demons approached tar’tchii city.
It was this delay that gave The Three Races enough time to gather their strength to have a fighting chance against the horde. The woods around Ch'tielira had been transformed into a war camp. Dwarves arrived, along with more atian survivors. The Three Races began consolidating their strength ready for the final battle.
The tar’tchii wanted to hold out. Almost ten thousand dwarves were now based in and around Ch'tielira. With the forces of tar’tchii and atia to back them up, the tar’tchii felt that their defences would hold until even more dwarves arrived.
Atian queen Erensol had different ideas though. Cold, manipulative and calculating, she saw an opportunity for the atia to rise to power once again. Having seen the wonders erected by the tar’tchii, and the powers of their magics, she and many of her followers had their thoughts clouded by jealousy and an increasing feeling of resentment towards the tar’tchii.
Thus, the arguments they brought to the debate were different. With the Flux in possession of the cha'karth, surely even the magical powers of the tar’tchii would be of little aid in the fight. The atia said that they needed the Flux, and that it was the key to victory. They had seen the might of the demon host first hand, and played on the fears of the dwarves that physical might would do little more than delay the swarms of demons. In many ways they were correct, but the atia had a much more sinister use for the Flux in mind.
The atia argued that they should bring the fight to the enemy, that they should sally forth and meet the host as it burned the forests around them. Their argument swayed the dwarves, who would rather fight, than take the passive choice and end up being trapped like rats, as the atia had been in Allyon. With the elves and the dwarves in agreement, the tar’tchii also agreed to meet the horde head on.